Kegel Muscles

There is nothing like a vibrator. Except one of those battery-powered Noxzema face exfoliators. I know this because I’ve used one as a vibrator. They’re 15 bucks. My vagina is not too uppity to turn down a good deal.

I received my first vibrator when I was a junior in high school, a present from my older sister who was home from college and ready to proselytize her sexual awakening. At first I had to wear three pairs of underwear at once; the sensation was just too much. Then, after frequent use, it became not too much. After even more use, it became, Maybe I’ll turn this up a notch. And finally, I need a vibrator with more horsepower. The Ford Truck of sex toys. Fittingly my masturbation habit became something Henry Ford would be proud of: completely efficient. I could turn the vibrator on high and orgasm in under two minutes. Even if I was just thinking about my grocery list. It was magic.

That is up until I got a boyfriend and found out that it was unfortunately the only magic that worked anymore. Dude is a saint so he patiently tried everything under the sun, and also, kind of the sun — “I’ve read that those SAD lamps can help!” he offered once. On a few rare occasions I managed to eke one out with him — always after drinking lots and lots of alcohol. (Turns out I have the opposite of whiskey dick. I don’t have a dick, for one. And whiskey actually lets me get out of my head so I’m not thinking, “Why isn’t it working?!!” every 15 seconds.) But for the most part we fell into a pattern where we’d have sex, and then afterward he would kind bat at my boobs while I machined my way to orgasm.

I’ve heard of this happening to boys. They spend too many single years strangling their penis like it insulted their grandma, and then later they have a horribly hard time (pun intended) reaching orgasm with a woman. Once upon a time I could orgasm via all the ways one orgasms with a dude — fingers, sex, cunnilingus, idly watching True Detective. But after years of essentially power-exfoliating my lady part, I found that coming any other way required a level of concentration on par with taking the SATs. It was exhausting. Fingers paled in comparison. I barely felt a tongue. I was scared I had vibrated my nerves dead forever, because I am not a doctor and that seemed like a plausible condition to me: Dead Vagina Syndrome. Or, as the professionals surely call it, DVS. I remember being so frustrated one night I ALMOST CALLED MY MOM.

But great news: My vagina is still alive! (Please take a moment to picture it singing on top of the Alps, Sound of Music–style.) Or at least it’s not dead, according to Karen Stewart, a Los Angeles–based psychologist specializing in sex therapy. “Almost 100 percent of women can have orgasm with a vibrator. A man cannot do what a vibrator can, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. So naturally there’s an addictive quality to it,” she says. “I’ve talked to many women who have been single for awhile and use vibrators by themselves and then have a really difficult time orgasming any other way.” Her suggestion? Put the vibrator in a drawer for a while and concentrate on being more present. Don’t expect to orgasm in a minute. No one does. (Except, of course, with a vibrator. Sigh.) Take it one day at a time. If you can’t resist grabbing your big plastic thing and going to town, try it on a lower setting even if it takes longer. Or there’s always this more palatable option: “Vibrating cock rings are amazing!” Stewart says. “That way he can participate and not feel bad.”

Two weeks ago I put my vibrator in a trash bag. (One filled with like old papers and packaging, not gross foodstuffs, in case I change my mind.) It’s tucked behind the washing machine in my laundry room, out of sight enough so that I’m not constantly tempted, but near another big vibrating machine so it doesn’t get lonely. Three days ago, I had my first non-battery-powered orgasm in a really long time. It was not exactly easy — it took about 45 minutes and an Adderall (For maximum focus!), but point is, it happened. After I came, my boyfriend took me out to dinner to celebrate the totally organic spasm of my kegel muscles.

Question: Has this ever happen to you?

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